UPDATE: Flash Flood Watch After Glacier Breaks Off Mt. Shasta

MT. SHASTA (KRON) — Officials are monitoring a mudflow that has closed roads in Siskiyou County after a glacier broke off Mt. Shasta.

A large mudflow and debris began cascading down the mountain at about 3 p.m. Saturday on the southeastern side of Mt. Shasta, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service initially issued a flash flood warning Saturday night but downgraded it to a flash flood watch.

Resources have been monitoring since this event began and the flow seems to be receding this morning, according to Andrea Capps, Forest Service spokesperson.

The warning is in effect through 5 p.m. Sunday.

Capps said that while the exact cause hasn’t been determined yet, it is believed that drought conditions “have left Mt Shasta’s glaciers exposed to the sun’s heat.”

“Visitors to Mt. Shasta should be aware that similar conditions could occur in other drainages on Mt. Shasta and that additional mudslides are possible,” Capps said.

Facebook user Seth Fortna posted video showing an area of the mud and debris-strewn terrain and said, “I couldn’t get too close, but you can see how spread out it was.”

Pilgrim Creek Road and Winding Way (Forest Road 31) have been closed.

Officials say that more mudslides could occur in other areas near the mountain and leaving nearby roads closed for a couple of days.

“Water is continuing to accumulate upstream behind the debris flow along the Mud and and Pilgrim creeks and could break free at any time,” the weather service said.

Forest Service officials say motorists should not attempt to drive over the slide area because they say even small amounts of mud and debris can overpower a vehicle.

“A flash flood warning means flash flooding is occurring or is imminent, officials said. Most flood related deaths occur in automobiles. Do not attempt to cross water covered bridges, dips, or low water crossings,” officials warned.


(Copyright 2014, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

Jefferson Public Radio

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